Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Most expatriates prefer to employ a driver rather than attempting to drive. Employing a driver also allows you to sit in the back and catch up with paperwork or skim the newspapers while the driver tries to find his way slowly through the traffic jams. You can expect to pay anywhere between US$100 to US$250 a month for a driver, depending on their experience. If you need your driver to work late at night and/or on Sundays, you will have to pay them overtime.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
To legally drive, you must obtain an Indonesia driver’s license, a SIM (Surat Izin Mengemudi) or hold an International Driver's License. To get an Indonesia license, you do not need to take a test. All you need to do is show up at the police department and show your KITAS and home country driver's license.
The best time to apply for a driver's license is early in the morning, Monday through Thursday.
To obtain a driver's license in Bali, you will need to bring:
- Original passport
- Original KITAS (Temporary Stay Permit) card
- Valid Indonesian driver's license, foreign driver's license or international driver's license (as applicable)
- Photocopies of the identity and valid visa pages in your passport
- Photocopy of your KITAS card
- Photocopy of your current driver's license
What side of the road do people drive on?
Similar to the United Kingdom, people drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you are not familiar with this, take your time and be extra cautious.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
If you are not in a hurry, public transportation is for you. The public transportation system in Bali can take you anywhere you want to go if you don't mind going slowly. Although it is not the most comfortable, it is by far the cheapest way to get around the city. Buses, except for inner-island buses, and mini-vans (bemos or angkutan kota) are often overcrowded and hot! This form of transportation is recommended for short trips only. Taxis are the safest way to travel around Bali and are easily found at hotels and other convenient locations. Metered taxis are readily available and are very reasonable.
There are several taxi cab companies: Airport Taxi, Bali Taxi, Blue Bird Taxi, Pan Witrhi Taxi and Praja Taxi. Bicycling is an enjoyable way to get around and very popular as well. But, if you are not fit, you might want to reconsider because you will be biking on hilly terrain and will have to be able to react fast to the heavy and unpredictable traffic. If you don't own a bike, there are many bike rental shops in all the main tourist spots. Another fun way to get around is by motorbike (ojek). You can rent these just about anywhere, but you have to have a special permit, which you can get at any police station. You are also required by law in Indonesia to wear a helmet.
Other popular ways to get around the city are by some traditional vehicles (Becak, Andong, Bajaj, and Helicak), which are expanded on below.
Becak: If you like to ride in a convertible, you will love to travel by Becak. It can only fit two people at a time, but you just sit back while the driver sits behind you and pedals fast. Because you sit in front, you can feel the wind softly touch your face and when it is hot out, it can even be a bit cooling. You will find the Becak in small towns more so than in the cities because it is easier for the driver to zoom about where the roads are not too busy.
Andong: If you like horses, you will really enjoy the Andong. It is similar to the Cinderella carriage and the driver sits in front to control the horse. It can fit up to five or six people and you sit facing each other. You can look out the windows located on the sides and enjoy the pretty scenery. Because it has a roof, you can travel by Andong in any type of weather.
Bajaj: Have you ever seen a vehicle with only three wheels? If not, you will once you move here! This is called the Bajaj and it is the most famous traditional type of transportation in Indonesia. It is very fast, with one wheel located in the front and the other two located in the rear. The driver sits up front and the engine is right under his seat. Some people think it is too noisy, but it is very fast and will get you wherever you need to go in a jiffy!
Helicak: This is a combination of the Becak, Bajaj and a motorcycle. Like the Becak, it doesn’t have a roof, it only has three wheels like the Bajaj and the driver sits on the left side up front and drives the motorcycle, which pulls you along. It is a fun way to get around and many people really enjoy this mode of transport!
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Yes, although this is possible via bus systems and trains, most expats and locals prefer to use rental cars.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
Become acquainted with local roads and freeways as well as the local traffic rules. Always follow these traffic rules and always drive with the flow of traffic. For more information, contact your local consulate or embassy or contact Crown Bali.
Here are some good tips if you plan to drive around Bali:
- Always expect the unexpected
- Keep your eyes and mind on driving
- Watch out for cars and bikes because they have a tendency to swerve into lanes without any warning
- Be aware that drivers from side streets often don't look when joining a main road
- Keep in mind that the larger vehicle is always "king" of the road
- Remember to toot your horn when going around curves on mountainous roads as it is very common to drive in the middle of the road here
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
Tickets are typically purchased on the bus itself, but you can purchase these at any public transportation station or you can pay in cash when getting on. However, note that most drivers do not carry a lot of change so it is wise to have the exact amount for your ticket.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.